The financial world wished Warren Buffett a happy 90th birthday over the weekend. The guy has been an ageless wonder, the Betty White of the financial industry. In terms of individual investors, I'm not sure anyone's moves are as followed, discussed, and scrutinized as much as Buffett's. Some love him while others couldn't care less. However, if there is one take away I have over the past few years from Buffett it's this: nothing lasts forever.
No, that isn't a morbid view that all life ends or even commentary on his success. Rather, it has to do with investment views.
As investors, we're likely to change our approach, strategies, or opinions. Sometimes it is with a single stock while others times it is with an entire portfolio. Buffett's actions over the years demonstrate just that. Even the best, brightest, and most successful investors of all-time will pivot away from past views.
I'm no Buffett expert nor envision myself ever becoming one. His style is very different from where I find interest, but that doesn't mean I ignore him either. For years, he talked about owning what he understood and shying away from complicated technology. I'm simplifying, of course, but this is the reason the investment world collectively gasped when Buffett bought Apple (AAPL) .
Fast-forward to 2020 and we heard another gasp when Buffett sold Wells Fargo (WFC) and moved into gold miner Barrick Gold (GOLD) . That move represented a major shift in market outlook as it followed Buffett's quick abandonment of airlines.
Now, we find out he's taken a $6 billion stake across five Japanese trading companies. These companies appear to fit the financial metrics Buffett often pursues, but they run smack in the face of the idea on not betting against America. Again, enough to elicit a small gasp from the financial world.
Even at 90 years old, Buffett is showing investors that nothing lasts forever. He didn't stay away from tech forever. He didn't stay away from gold forever. And he hasn't stayed away from venturing outside of America forever.
That means no matter how much you believe in a system or a style or a mantra, you can change it without being wrong or others judging you. In the end, we judge ourselves based on the bottom line. A profit is a profit. A loss is a loss. Holding onto something forever simply because you're too stubborn to change will likely result in the latter for many traders.
Trading and investing isn't about pride, and while some may call you out or twist your words, remember trading is about the bottom line not being stubborn or tied down to something you've said in the past.
Belated Happy Birthday, Mr. Buffett.